Graeme Swann: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Graeme Swann

What he said:

“We’re happy to tootle along in a two-litre diesel in a Formula 1 race. “

Graeme Swann is still not convinced that Alistair Cook is the best thing to happen to English cricket especially when it comes to ODI cricket.

Cook had responded to his strident criticism thus:

“I don’t think it’s that helpful – especially from a so-called friend.”

Swann, however, continued in the same vein:

“Real mates are honest with each other. I’m no longer in the England dressing room and it is my job now as a pundit to give my honest thoughts.

I texted Cooky after the Test series victory over India saying I was proud of the way he conducted himself but that he should get away from the one-dayers as quickly as possible.

I think being one-day captain is a poisoned chalice for him. He just doesn’t need the job. The cricket England are playing in 50-over cricket is outdated and I fear it will be a painful winter for the team.

I don’t want him to be part of it. This is not a witch-hunt against ‘Cookie’ and I’m still a huge supporter of his captaincy in Test cricket. But, in one-day matches, I want England to play the exciting cricket they promised six months ago when Peter Moores took over as head coach.

We’re happy to tootle along in a two-litre diesel in a Formula One race.

If England do badly in the World Cup Cooky will be back to where he was earlier this summer when some people were waiting for him to mess up. He should be resting now, making sure he is fully recharged for the 17 Test matches England have next year.

I’m 100 per cent behind him as Test captain. I went to his wedding and he offers to send me a turkey each Christmas from his farm. I hope I’m not off his list now!”

What he really meant:

“ODI and T20 cricket is less about strategy,endurance, finesse and technique and more about tactics, fitness and speed. We can hardly have slow coaches chuggin’ along on high-speed rails.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Just appoint me Cook’s tooter and I’ll change my tune fast enough.”

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IS Bindra: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

IS Bindra

What he said:

“It’s such a frustrating scenario: One can’t become the chief minister, but one can still become the prime minister! “

IS Bindra, former president of the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), is acerbic about the current farcical situation;  Narayanswamy Srinivasan is unable to preside over the BCCI pending a Supreme Court judgment yet  is chairman of the ICC.

The outspoken former BCCI chief recently stepped down as head of the PCA.

He said:

“I haven’t made it easier for Srini … In fact, I’m free to blog and tweet exactly what I want… My hands aren’t tied now…”

On his retirement:

“I’d reached a stage where I felt I couldn’t do anything for cricket in India…

Also, I didn’t want the PCA to suffer because of my strong views on Srini. Mohali should have got a Test against the West Indies, but didn’t. Yet, there are affiliates of the Board who keep getting international matches out of turn…

I’ve helped build the PCA and I’m passionate about it. I couldn’t have allowed it to be penalised because of my convictions. I’ve always respected the primacy of institutions…

Above all, there comes a time in everyone’s life when one has to gracefully retire and move on after having been at the helm of an institution. I couldn’t have been at the PCA forever.”

On Jagmohan Dalmiya:

“I’d expected Jaggu to join me in the fight to oust Srini, but he didn’t do so. It’s for him to explain why. I’m as disappointed with quite a few of the others in the Board who, too, have chosen to stay quiet.”

On Srinivasan’s chances of returning as Board president if the Supreme Court fails to bar him:

“If that’s so, then Srini will win. Who’ll oppose him? For one reason or the other, I don’t see any opposition. Not when the men with influence are silent. I’ve retired as an administrator, but my love for cricket remains undiminished. I’ll gun for whoever tries to harm the game in India. You can be assured.”

What he really meant:

“It’s like you can be President but you can’t be governor.  Or you can volunteer but you can’t work.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Let’s play musical chairs with the Supreme Court, the Pied Piper.”


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Mitchell Johnson: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Mitchell Johnson

What he said:

“I’ve been trying to hit as straight as possible instead of hitting across the line. So I’m not going to apologise, but hopefully I didn’t hurt anyone up there.”

Mitchell Johnson is unapologetic for shattering the safety glass pane of the television broadcast box at the Harare Sports Club.

Johnson scored 20 in Australia’s 350-6 against Zimbabwe.

Johnson added:

“I thought it was going to hit, and I was just wondering what it was going to do.I didn’t see it shatter, I just saw some of the commentators brushing away a bit of glass, so it was a good thing it didn’t shatter everywhere and the ball didn’t go through.

I think another window up here (outside the players’ dressing room) had that shattered look to it, and I’m glad no-one got injured out of it.

But it was a good feeling.

I didn’t see the first ball that was bowled to me from the other end, I was just trying to adjust to being out in the middle again but that one felt really nice, right out of the middle.”

The other shattered window Johnson  referred to was broken by West Indian Chris Gayle in a T20 fixture several years ago.

Johnson laughed:

“I’m happy to be compared to Chris Gayle. He’s obviously a pretty powerful guy, so if you want to compare me to him that’s fine.”

What he really meant:

“I’m a straight-shooting kind of guy. I bowl straight and fast; I’d like to bat the same way too.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I’m gunning for the commentators. Would they like to step out and face a few of my lethal deliveries? If not with the bat, then with the red cherry.”

Sanjay Patel: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Sanjay Patel

What he said:

“They can go on holiday, or go back home. They can even come to India if they want.”

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel minces no words about Team India’s bowling coach Joe Dawes’ and fielding coach Trevor Penney’s options on being relieved of their duties post the disastrous result in the Big Test series against England.

What he really meant:

“What they do now on their own time is none of the BCCI’s business. It’ s a purely professional transaction. They’re hired based on past results and recommendations and fired based on results and feedback. Can they have it any other way? Besides, they deserve a holiday—a well-earned one—and I can recommend no better place to vacation than India.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“How about Tourism India roping in Dawes and Penney as brand ambassadors?”

MS Dhoni: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

What he said:

“Don’t be so jealous of IPL.”

The Indian skipper was quick to respond to a query from scribes whether Indian players would forsake the IPL and work on their Test game instead by playing county cricket in England.

What he really meant:

“County cricket doesn’t pay that much any more, does it? Besides, it’s an Indian league and why should the Indian players be elsewhere? Will our team owners and the BCCI be agreeable? Also, it’s the cricketers main source of income when they’re not playing for the national squad. Why ruin our fun, our time in the sun?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“The IPL’s like my wife Sakshi to me. You malign her(it) and you’ll have me to deal with.”